Thursday, January 12, 2006

Explain the wiretap story delays

From tmorange
Sent Thursday, January 12, 2006 12:56 pm
Cc ,
Subject Explain the wiretap story delays

Dear Mr. Keller,

It is now almost a month since the New York Times broke the story, after sitting on it for over a year, of this president's secret domestic eavesdropping program. Your December 16 statement explaining the delay has left many questions unanswered.

How is it that you found yourselves "faced with a convincing national security argument" from this administration, namely that terrorists might find out they were being spied on if the story was published, when terrorists surely must know our government is spying on them? (You admit this yourself when you stated that "The fact that the government eavesdrops on those suspected of terrorist connections is well-known.")

How is it that it took a year for "the legal or civil liberties questions involved in such a program... [to loom] larger within the government than [you] had previously understood," when even a first-year law student can read FISA and understand that this administration expressly disobeyed its provisions? If, as you say, "What [was] new [was] that the N.S.A. has for the past three years had the authority to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States without a warrant," the this administration was clearly not forthcoming with you inits initial characterization of the spying program.

All of this will presumably come out once the FOIA request filed by Howard Dean is fulfilled and the congressional hearings on the matter begin. But in the meantime, a fuller explanation on your part is long overdue.


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